Animation in Netherlands

The animation industry in the Netherlands is a growing area for original animation production and coproductions, with projects originating out of Benelux and further afield in a diverse range of animation styles and formats.

Reliable coproducer

The local animation industry has been one of the key beneficiaries of the Netherlands Film Production Incentive, which supports the production and coproduction of feature-length animated films and high-end animation series. An application can be made for international productions and coproductions to obtain a cash rebate up to 35% for film productions and 30% for high-end TV-series on eligible production costs. A film fund also offers various selective support schemes on production and distribution for minority Dutch coproductions.

These form the main source of financing for animation companies in the Netherlands. It has helped make the country’s producers active coproduction partners on animated content internationally. Dutch producers have a reputation as reliable coproduction partners, working frequently with neighbouring countries such as Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as outside of Europe. These international connections are helping Dutch animation talent to develop their skills and networks.

Lack of local broadcaster support

The country’s animation industry is hampered by a lack of financial support for animated programming from the Netherlands’ local broadcasters. These tend to buy and air foreign animated programming, while the occasional coproduction with a Dutch producer does little to add substantially to the national output of animated content.

Therefore, Dutch producers are used to working with international partners and focus on a mix of original intellectual property and service work for clients such as Mattel. Among the country’s recent successful exports to international children’s broadcasters are George & Paul and Fox & Hare. Also, Netflix and Amazon are working with Dutch animation companies on their exclusive programming, including Amazon’s Undone, which is aimed at adults.

In 2019, there were more than 30 feature-length animated films, on which local producers were the majority financiers, in different stages of development and pre-production in the Netherlands. Forthcoming features coproduced with producers outside of the Netherlands include Where is Anne Frank?, which is being made with partners in Belgium, Luxembourg, Israel and France. TV series remain the main focus of Dutch animation producers, however, as a result of there being more options for financing available and it providing longer, more consistent production periods.

There are also examples of animated Dutch IP being generated on platforms such as YouTube, in the case of My Magic Pet Morphle, which has grown rapidly online and amassed millions of views.

Interest from abroad

It is hoped that in the coming years there will be more support on offer to the animation industry in fields such as training and funding for using animation in innovation areas of multimedia, such as virtual and augmented reality. Meanwhile, local producers still feel that they should receive more commissions for animated content from Dutch broadcasters.

Having had the spotlight held on its industry at European coproduction event Cartoon Movie in 2019, the Dutch industry is increasingly on the radar of the international animation community, with high interest reported in projects from the Netherlands from potential coproducers, sales agents and distributors.

Growth is predicted in 2020 and beyond, primarily due to the number of productions coming through the pipeline at various Dutch companies and additional funding options potentially becoming available in the coming years.

The animation industry in the Netherlands is a growing area for original animation production and coproductions, with projects originating out of Benelux and further afield in a diverse range of animation styles and formats.

Reliable coproducer

The local animation industry has been one of the key beneficiaries of the Netherlands Film Production Incentive, which supports the production and coproduction of feature-length animated films and high-end animation series. An application can be made for international productions and coproductions to obtain a cash rebate up to 35% for film productions and 30% for high-end TV-series on eligible production costs. A film fund also offers various selective support schemes on production and distribution for minority Dutch coproductions.

These form the main source of financing for animation companies in the Netherlands. It has helped make the country’s producers active coproduction partners on animated content internationally.

Dutch producers have a reputation as reliable coproduction partners, working frequently with neighbouring countries such as Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as outside of Europe. These international connections are helping Dutch animation talent to develop their skills and networks.

Lack of local broadcaster support

The country’s animation industry is hampered by a lack of financial support for animated programming from the Netherlands’ local broadcasters. These tend to buy and air foreign animated programming, while the occasional coproduction with a Dutch producer does little to add substantially to the national output of animated content.

Therefore, Dutch producers are used to working with international partners and focus on a mix of original intellectual property and service work for clients such as Mattel. Among the country’s recent successful exports to international children’s broadcasters are George & Paul and Fox & Hare. Also, Netflix and Amazon are working with Dutch animation companies on their exclusive programming, including Amazon’s Undone, which is aimed at adults.

Forthcoming features coproduced with producers outside of the Netherlands include Where is Anne Frank?, which is being made with partners in Belgium, Luxembourg, Israel and France. TV series remain the main focus of Dutch animation producers, however, as a result of there being more options for financing available and it providing longer, more consistent production periods.

There are also examples of animated Dutch IP being generated on platforms such as YouTube, in the case of My Magic Pet Morphle, which has grown rapidly online and amassed millions of views.

Interest from abroad

It is hoped that in the coming years there will be more support on offer to the animation industry in fields such as training and funding for using animation in innovation areas of multimedia, such as virtual and augmented reality. Meanwhile, local producers still feel that they should receive more commissions for animated content from Dutch broadcasters.

Having had the spotlight held on its industry at European coproduction event Cartoon Movie in 2019, the Dutch industry is increasingly on the radar of the international animation community, with high interest reported in projects from the Netherlands from potential coproducers, sales agents and distributors.

Growth is predicted in 2020 and beyond, primarily due to the number of productions coming through the pipeline at various Dutch companies and additional funding options potentially becoming available in the coming years.

Animation Producers Netherlands

The ApN’s specific aim is to stimulate the production and distribution of animation by consulting with broadcasters, funds, financiers and distributors; looking after the interests of producers with policy makers in Europe and the Netherlands; active collaboration with other interest groups; organising delegations to European industry events such as Cartoon Movie, Cartoon Business, Annecy, Animation Production Days and Cartoon Forum; and attracting contacts with foreign interest groups for animation producers.

Manager: Ton Crone